EA to remove microtransactions for 'Battlefront' in effort to find balance
The controversial microtransactions that have dominated the conversation surrounding "Star Wars Battlefront II" have been removed for now.
Publisher EA announced Thursday that it would remove the ability to purchase "crystals" in-game credits used to unlock weapons, vehicles and heroes with real money. But this is only a temporary measure while the publisher finds the "right balance" between those who want to unlock everything through gameplay and those who want what EA calls an "accelerated experience."
Considering it would take 4,528 hours 188 real-time days of play to unlock everything, I can understand why someone might opt for an "accelerated experience." But to unlock all of that content would cost $2,100 if a player purchased the most "efficient" crystal dispensary of $100 for 12,000 pieces. There's in-game progression and there's flat out pay-to-win mechanics, and this definitely falls in the camp of the latter.
Admittedly, very few gamers would want to unlock every piece of equipment in the game. Much like the "Battlefield" series also from developer DICE players can choose a class and work their way through the progression, unlocking additional abilities, weapons and power-ups. But the balance has been thrown off to such a ridiculous extent in the name of making additional money that players are almost forced to purchase additional currency in order to compete.
That extra edge to compete is needed, judging by videos that have surfaced from people who have received early copies of the game. A fully powered-up hero, such as Boba Fett, is essentially unstoppable and will lay waste to an entire team. Did that person earn that hero and his power-up cards through in-game progress? The game hasn't even been available long enough to unlock the highest tier of heroes and their abilities simple by a grind.
One would hope EA had seen the error of its ways when it announced it would roll back the in-game microtransaction purchase, but that wasn't the case. It took a call from Bob Iger, Disney CEO, to Andrew Wilson, the EA CEO, out of concern for how this controversy could damage the "Star Wars" brand. Disney licensed the "Star Wars" IP exclusively to EA for video game development, though it still holds the final say on all decisions made in regards to a galaxy far, far away.
To say this deal is getting worse all the time would be an understatement. "Battlefront II" is not even that great of a game in the first place. It's cumbersome, frustrating and only thrilling to play because it's a first-person shooter in a bunch of the environments we grew up watching on worn VHS tapes.